Letters, Oct. 18
Editorial was 'on target'
Excellent editorial on the RSU 20 withdrawal effort in Belfast. You're 100 percent on target. Thank you for giving a balanced analysis. Despite what the outspoken supporters of withdrawal from the RSU state, it is they who refuse to let facts, logic and research get in their way.
Regarding Mr. Hutchings' online response to the editorial: I believe if anyone had done "their homework," it would be obvious the editor of the paper is listing in the paper where the contacts for the paper are listed. It's public information, so they don't need to personally sign their editorial in their paper. It's there, plain as day. You continually attack those in the press and online you feel do not support your views on withdrawal from RSU 20. It might come as a shock to you that there are other valid views out there, too. Sorry you can't control everything, Mr. Hutchings.
It doesn't look good for a grown man and teacher to whine whenever his point of view is challenged.
Ares asks for chance to 'fix' Augusta
My name is Meredith Ares and I seek to represent Maine House District 41 (Frankfort, Orland, Prospect, Searsport, Stockton Springs and Verona Island). I decided to run because Augusta has gotten away from putting Maine people first. Over the past two years I have watched as the Legislature made decision after decision that are not in the best interest of everyday Mainers. I have seen insurance companies, banks and large corporations powerfully represented in Augusta, while working families and small businesses have little voice at all.
During the last six months I have visited almost 3,000 voters in their homes to ask them what they think and what is important to them. What I heard was not always what I expected. Many said they are concerned about schools, health care or taxes. Everyone expressed concern about the economy and shortage of jobs. Families told me no matter how hard they work, they can’t get ahead. Small business owners told me they would like to expand but can’t, or that they used to have employees, but had to let them go.
But the feeling I heard expressed most often by voters was disappointment with our government in Augusta. Regardless of party, age or income, almost everyone I spoke to feels Augusta has become mired in partisan agendas and special interests to such an extent that our elected representatives get swept up in it and lose sight of the people’s business. People are discouraged and expressed doubt that Augusta could ever be “fixed.”
Of course it can be fixed! But we need to send people to Augusta who are not hemmed in by rigid party loyalties and restrictive pledges to special interests. Augusta needs legislators who will bring common sense and an open mind, and who will cooperate with others, regardless of party, dedicated solely to the best interests of the hard-working people of Maine. We must protect Augusta from the "us vs. them" mentality that has poisoned Washington, engage the values we share as Americans and as Mainers, and dedicate ourselves to doing the people’s business. I will be that kind of legislator.
To look at the challenges facing our state with new eyes, we can pull from excellent resources that have been underutilized in recent years. Every March, the Maine Economic Growth Council (a non-partisan, independent organization) publishes a report called the Measures of Economic Growth, a study of economic benchmarks over the past 18 years. Their findings are non-partisan, scientific, specific to our state, and will keep us focused on the big forces driving our economy. We need to inform our decisions with this kind of quality data instead of ideological dogma.
Another valuable resource available to all legislators is their constituents. The people who deal with the state government in their daily lives can tell us, better than any consultant, where it is unresponsive, wasteful or arbitrary. If state programs are not meeting the needs they were created to address, no one knows that better than the people being served (or not served). Knocking on doors, I heard plenty of stories of bureaucratic waste and mismanagement, but I also heard many excellent and surprising suggestions on ways to improve efficiency and save money for the state. Legislators need to listen, and I will.
I need your vote on Nov. 6 so I can go to Augusta and work for the best interests of the people of the 41st District, and all the hard-working people of Maine. I will use my voice and my vote to promote fairness, cooperation and common sense in our state government.
Lincolnville needs new Town Office
For over 10 years the problems with Lincolnville’s Town Office building have been known by the residents and dealt with on a daily basis by the town’s employees who work in the cramped and inefficient structure. Lack of space, lack of service confidentiality and a lack of meeting space for the town’s boards and committees head the list of deficiencies in the current structure. The fact that the building is also not compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act further aggravates an already difficult problem.
For the past year and a half the Lincolnville Municipal Building Committee has been working very hard to solve this problem and create a reasonable proposal for a building that will serve the town for the next 30, and hopefully, 40-plus years. Under the direction of the Board of Selectmen, the committee has proposed different options to the Board. Working with architects and site engineers selected by the committee and approved by the Selectmen, the MBC has developed a plan for utilizing the current Town Office building for office space and created an addition that would house an efficient and more private service desk area, as well as a boards and committees meeting room, a conference room and public bathrooms. This renovation of the current building and creation of the public space in the addition is estimated to cost less than $500,000. The consultant’s fees, permits and site work bring the total to $690,000, of which $470,000 is in the town’s capital reserve fund. The town would need to borrow or bond $220,000 to move the project forward.
This plan alleviates all the drawbacks of the current structure, makes the Town Office ADA-compliant and provides meeting space within the office structure. The Selectmen have approved this plan, as has the Budget Committee, and elected to place this project on the ballot for the town’s vote on Nov. 6. Please view the project plans at the Town Office or on the town’s website and attend the public hearing on Oct. 22 at 6:30 at the school for more information.
The Town Office is the face of the community. Let’s create a Town Office we can be proud of, and one that will functionally and efficiently serve the town for the long-term future.
Is the Searsport tank truly safe?
If the Searsport LPG tank is so safe, why is DCP taking extraordinary steps to insulate itself from liability?
Tuesday night, the Searsport Planning Board voted to approve the “DCP Searsport LLC” mega-tank application as complete and set a public hearing date. The problem is that “DCP Searsport LLC” does not have any right to use Mack Point -- which is required before an application can go to a hearing.
The right to use Mack Point is held by DCP Midstream Partners LP, a completely separate and distinct limited liability partnership, formed in Delaware in 2005. Based on documents TBNT [Thanks But No Tank] has obtained from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), DCP Searsport LLC is a fourth-tier entity within the DCP Midstream family of companies – meaning that, if an accident occurred, injured parties would have to pierce the corporate veil of four different LLCs before they could get to the real money behind the project.
Last year, DCP Midstream Partners LP asked Maine DEP to issue the tank permits to DCP Searsport LLC. DEP refused because, as it acknowledged, under longstanding Maine law, only entities that have title or an irrevocable right or interest in the property to be developed can apply for or obtain a permit.
The Searsport Planning Board, however, ignored the law and ruled DCP Searsport LLC’s application complete – even though it has no right to use the property, and even though the application’s proof of financial capacity is in the name of a different company, DCP Midstream Partners LP.
In a similar vein, the rules for the public hearing were also approved 5-0 without public comment. TBNT attorneys addressed the Board after the vote (during the “open to the public” session) arguing – using hypotheticals to avoid the gag order – that the application is incomplete and illegal.
As noted by TBNT attorney Kim Tucker, it has become routine for corporations to employ an army of lawyers to create subsidiaries and limited liability companies to insulate a parent company and its shareholders from legal liability (e.g. W.R. Grace Co. spun off $4 billion in assets to separate companies before the full scope of the asbestos injuries it had caused was discovered). The practice is called “ring fencing,” and is particularly popular as a device to shield the assets of large corporations (and their shareholders) engaged in very risky industries.
As it stands now, if the LPG terminal were built and an accident occurred, it is questionable that there would be any recourse for the victims (or for the town of Searsport to defray its damages or emergency response costs). DCP Searsport LLC has produced no evidence that it has the financial capacity to safely operate a facility of this size and hazardous nature, or to compensate injured parties.
This should be of great concern to all area residents. Because of the Searsport Planning Board’s refusal to follow the requirements of Searsport’s own ordinances and Maine law, they are placing the people, property and businesses of Searsport and the surrounding communities at significant risk and jeopardizing the safety and financial well-being of the entire region.
Spokesperson, Thanks But No Tank
Tank risks should be weighed carefully
Despite all the stories and commentaries and letters published in the local newspapers and broadcast on television, I have not seen an accurate description of what would happen if that 22.7-million-gallon storage tank alternately described as for "liquefied petroleum gas" (LPG) and "propane," burst and all of its contents suddenly leaked out.
If it were "liquefied natural gas" (LNG), I suspect the danger would be greater, since methane (a.k.a. "natural gas") isn't heavier than air, while I recall propane (and probably "petroleum gas") does tend to stick to the ground. But with all three, the liquid phase will flow like water -- downhill -- while also becoming gaseous. Thus, it would certainly flow along the ground to every low place, including the Searsport harbor, and possibly into Stockton Springs.
The best way to think of it is [like] gasoline, which is flammable but not explosive in high concentrations. It will not burn without mixing with oxygen first. However, as it gasifies and is diluted in the air, it will become both very flammable plus potentially explosive. LNG is particularly dangerous this way, but I believe LPG and propane would be less so. Wind is always a concern.
Everyone within the range of the gas, whether liquid, gaseous or mixed with air, should be apprised of the real dangers in advance of installation of the tank. The Board of Selectmen should be honest and thorough on such a disclosure. I know LNG tankers are considered dangerous enough to cause shutdowns of other shipping in places like Boston. i wonder if LPG is also so threatening?
Even low risks of catastrophic events is still a risk. Honest vetting of those risks is necessary and prudent.
Maine State Prison
In my previous letter I incorrectly reported that the Searsport test scores were lower than Belfast. I heard this at a meeting and apologize to the staffs of Searsport's schools.
Mortier for Belfast City Council
Belfast citizens are fortunate hat Mary Mortier is a candidate for Ward I city councilor. Mary will bring valuable experience and many talents to the City Council. She is a businesswoman who, through her experience in the Belfast real estate market and her many volunteer activities, knows the community very well.
During her 16 years as a Belfast resident, Mary has served as president of the chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, president of the Midcoast Board of Realtors, president of Belfast Rotary, president of the Belfast Garden Club and executive director of New Years by the Bay for the past 10 years. Certainly, Mary has amply demonstrated her leadership and organizational skills.
As an owner of several properties in both the downtown and residential areas, she is acutely aware of he impact of local property taxes.
I have worked with Mary on numerous Rotary projects and am always impressed with her willingness to volunteer and to take charge of any project in which she is involved. She has devoted untold hours and much effort to the betterment of the Belfast community.
Mary Mortier has boundless energy and extraordinary organizational skills. She will be a valuable addition to the Belfast City Council.
I do not know anyone more committed to getting Maine’s economy back on track than Erin Herbig. She grew up here in Waldo County and I believe she truly understands the challenges faced by Maine families and Maine businesses.
She is a constant advocate for educating our workforce and improving business support services such as good roads and high-speed internet. For the past two years, she has fought for Maine businesses and their employees.
It is clear that Erin understands the importance of farming, boat-building and local manufacturing in our community. Because of her, our local businesses will continue to be able to expand and create jobs.
I support Erin Herbig for state representative because her top priority is creating jobs, promoting economic growth and supporting Maine families so they have the most opportunities to live and work here in Maine.
Herbig a role-model for youth
Erin Herbig’s commitment to the youth of Waldo County is top-notch. She is down to earth and communicates in a way that kids immediately relate to her. She inspires our young people to set high goals for themselves, work hard and take pride in where they come from. She has worked hard to improve our current education system, from early childhood services to secondary education. Erin sees the important role our young people play in Maine’s economic future. She is devoted to making sure these kids have the skills needed to find jobs that will allow them to stay in Maine. Erin Herbig serves as an important role-model and advocate for the young people in Waldo County. I would like to thank Erin for her work as our state representative and support her re-election. Vote Herbig!
As an officer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3108, I know firsthand there is no one more committed to our community than Erin Herbig. She is approachable, willing to listen, and knows her stuff. It is nice to know that I can pick up the phone and talk to someone who has the ability to get things done in Augusta. Erin has always supported our causes and projects, such as student scholarships and finding help and support for all of our veterans.
Children respond to love
On the topic of the right to marry, I have read and listened to much debate and hate-filled rhetoric. When I hear the comments that our children are at risk, I feel the need to speak. This issue is not about the children. To me, it is simple. It is not whom you love, but how you live. Having devoted my life to educating young children I have learned a few simple truths. Children thrive with the support of many adults. Parents, teachers, friends and clergy, joining together, raise children. These children are as unique and special as the people who love them. Some of my former students are undoubtedly gay, it made no difference to me; they were children. Their parents' sexual preferences were also irrelevant to the education of children. What does make a difference is the level of love and support that children know in their homes. Children who are raised with love and acceptance grow up to be loving, accepting adults. Confident, non-judgmental adults raise children with open hearts and minds. What more could we possibly ask? Please, for our children, vote yes on one.
If you are a person who knows the importance of voting for a person over a political party, then please join me in supporting Chip Curry for Senate. Chip brings to the table the leadership, work experience and sense of community needed to serve the people of Waldo County in the State Senate.
Re-entry center garden benefits all
Early in 2010, I sat down with Sheriff Scott Story to discuss the possibility of a garden project that would be good training for our clients in the re-entry center and beneficial to all the food cupboards, soup kitchens, etc. in Waldo County. We discussed the availability of land, availability of staff to do the work in the garden and other resources that would be needed to do this project. We were very fortunate to lease five acres of land from Mr. and Mrs. Richard Nickerson of Searsport. We got the required paperwork finished in a timely manner and in May of 2010 we were planting our first crop. We devised a schedule that the clients would work three half-day shifts a week, approximately six individuals per shift; and there would be a few weeks during the heavy growing season that we would have to work five days a week. I discussed with the sheriff that I would volunteer my time managing the project and work along with the clients every shift that they were there to work in the fields.
The first year (2010) we grew about 7,000 pounds of produce, mainly corn, beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, beets and turnips. The re-entry center clients enjoyed the work, enjoyed getting out into the garden and felt like they were giving back to the community.
The second year that we worked on the project (2011) we grew about 11,000 pounds of produce. This year, the rain was not kind to us and the planting season got way behind -- nearly a month. We planted this year approximately 15,000 lineal feet of vegetables and we were able to get the crops in very quickly with the assistance of David Doak of Monroe and Randy Doak of Belfast, who assisted us with tractor work. We had weeks this summer that we had to work five days a week, sometimes on a Saturday, because when the vegetables started coming, they came in amounts that were hard to imagine.
The clients that worked with us from the re-entry center have become so enthusiastic about the garden that oftentimes they can’t get on the list to work in the garden because we have too many people volunteering. That is a great thing about this project; new people at the re-entry center that we refer to as “Level 1” move on in a few weeks to “Level 2,” and we have new clients coming to the garden in the van every few weeks. Many times I’ve heard them discussing among themselves how good they feel that they are helping someone else out and that, in the process, they are learning about gardening to help themselves as they graduate and move on from the re-entry center.
This year we produced 20,000 pounds of fresh vegetables, distributed throughout Waldo County. Many times it works out that we deliver to local entities with a van when we are coming or going from the garden into the Belfast area. This project is a project that all Waldo County can be proud of and much good is being accomplished by both the workers and the health benefits of citizens having fresh produce to eat.
From my personal perspective, this project has been one of the most rewarding projects that I have worked on as a volunteer.
Board of Waldo County Commissioners
Voting for Ares
Meredith Ares is running for state Legislative District 41, to represent Frankfort, Orland, Prospect, Searsport, Stockton Springs and Verona. She is a moderate who analyzes the issues thoughtfully and consistently comes down on the side of fairness and sound fiscal policy.
Her opponent is incumbent James Gillway, reportedly a good neighbor, a good citizen, but his voting record raises serious concerns. He has voted consistently to pass Gov. [Paul] LePage's radical agenda, even when more moderate Republicans refused to do so.
He voted with the minority to support a voucher system which would have provided for redistribution of tax dollars from public schools to religious schools (LD 1886), and to create the new crime of murder against an unborn child (LD 1463).
He voted with a small minority in a failed bid to overturn Maine's Clean Elections Law. This would have allowed big money to play a greater role in Maine's political system. He also voted to eliminate same-day voter registration (since overturned by Maine voters), and then sponsored a failed bid to require photo IDs to vote (blocked or delayed by courts in some other states).
He voted against LD 1779, essentially allowing health insurance companies to raise rates up to 10 percent annually without regulatory approval. He also voted against LD 1498, which would have set up a health insurance exchange run by Maine people, to enable individuals and small businesses [to have] affordable health insurance. He voted against extending Maine's mini-COBRA law, which would have enabled those who lose their jobs to secure health insurance at their own expense for 18 months, rather than the current 12. He voted for LD 1746, which eliminated prescription drugs and other health-care assistance for thousands of Maine's seniors and disabled residents.
He voted against Mainers struggling to get back on their feet by voting to delay and reduce unemployment insurance benefits. (LD 1725). He was for cutting the Child Care Subsidy Program and the widely respected Head Start (LD 1746).
While cutting these vital social programs, he actually voted to give Maine's wealthiest 1 percent an income tax break of about $2,900 in a "tax reform" that would give average Mainers a break of only about $120, (achieved by reducing state obligations to retired workers).
I don’t believe these votes represent the values of the citizens of District 41. Meredith Ares shares our values, and she’s getting my vote.
I have been wearing a "Susan Longley, Judge of Probate" sticker on my shirt. I am amazed that people, some of whom I do not even know, have stopped to thank me. Sometimes they tell me why they pray she is re-elected.
I understand that for all the people who are happy with Judge Longley's decisions, there may well be some who are less than happy. But what I am hearing from people are stories about a judge who listens, who suggests counseling when that seems appropriate, who understands that each case involved the law, as well as human beings with deeply felt emotions.
I sincerely hope that Susan Longley will continue to be our judge of probate for a long time to come. Waldo County deserves her.
Longley 'caring and fair'
As a social worker for children and as an advocate for adults with disabilities, I had real, front line experience with Susan Longley as judge of the Probate Court in Waldo County. Judge Longley was caring and fair and had a clear and concise knowledge of the law and of the rights of individuals. She put people at ease in potentially stressful situations. I will be voting to re-elect Susan Longley as Probate Court judge so that the people of Waldo County can continue to benefit from her excellent skills.
Peggy D. Rice
Longley initiated mediation
As Waldo County judge of probate, Susan Longley introduced mediation as an alternative option to those bringing their disputes – usually family matters like contested wills – to be decided in Probate Court. Instead, they may try the mediation process as a way to resolve such disputes and reach mutual agreement without continuing their disputes that could then only be decided by a court ruling.
Mediation is an option to Probate Court: voluntary, not required. Judge Longley is not the mediator and not involved in any mediation. Rather, mediation is a separate process. If those in dispute cannot resolve their differences through mediation, they may proceed to Probate Court.
Still, results have clearly shown mediation to be an effective option for those facing Probate Court. The large majority of those presented with this option have chosen to give mediation a try. Then the large majority of those disputes have been resolved through mediation with family members able to write their own agreement. Contention may be relieved and family members reunited, not compelled to fight it out in court.
Costs for Probate Court and taxpayers, along with costs for those facing Probate Court, are generally and significantly reduced. Chances for mending fences are probably greater with mediation than arguments in Probate Court.
So this mediation option is a substantial step forward, just one of the improvements Susan Longley has initiated in her two terms as judge of probate. To me, that alone is reason enough to vote for Susan Longley.
Republicans for Longley
We would like to fully endorse Susan Longley for judge of probate in this November's election.
Susan Longley is an excellent and qualified candidate for this position. We, as Republican voters, believe in crossing party lines if we feel that the candidate is the best choice for all people, and this is how we feel about Judge Longley.
Not only is Susan Longley a hard-working woman, she is also a good neighbor who is willing to help out any neighbor whenever she can. We have had several opportunities to talk with Susan when she is out on one of her many walks with her dog, Gracie (who is know as the neighborhood pet).
Susan is a human activist, as well as looking out for our animal friends. She is sincere and will represent individuals and families fairly if elected.
Richard C. Arasz
Judge Susan Longley gets my vote for another term in Waldo County Probate Court because she is running a positive campaign. I also have supported her over the years and value her commitment to serving all the people of Waldo County. I have read about her helping families solve their problems inexpensively. i will be casting my vote to re-elect Judge Susan W. Longley, and I encourage your readers to do the same.
Longley helps families
I am writing to urge our community to re-elect Judge Susan Longley as Waldo County judge of probate. As an adult education instructor for RSU 3's family literacy program, Students and Parents in Cooperative Education (SPICE), I work with families with young children, children who will follow in their parents' new role-modeling -- behavior which demonstrates the understanding that education is the key to their futures.
Occasionally, our families need the court system to help them onto this path. For privacy reasons, I cannot name families here, but time and time again, I have been told of the fairness, even-mindedness and excellent solutions they had been given by the court system. They said that their judge had been thorough, thoughtful, careful and compassionate. Every time I heard this and asked who this judge had been, these families always answered, "Susan Longley."
Speaking up for Longley
I do not normally write to the paper, but I have to speak out for a dear lady whom I have known for many years. Judge Susan Longley is one of the nicest, most honest and helpful people I know. She is the most knowledgeable, fair and caring person I have ever met. And she truly cares about people and helping them.
Let's get behind her to help keep her on the job so she can continue the great job!
Voting for Mailloux
I write to encourage support for attorney Randy Mailloux for Waldo County probate judge. Randy has the knowledge, wisdom and experience, both as an attorney and as a judge, to best serve the citizens of Waldo County as their judge of probate.
As a lawyer just out of law school, I first met Randy about 15 years ago when he was Judge Mailloux and serving as probate judge of Waldo County.
The matter which was before Judge Mailloux was a probate case involving numerous family members and a high level of disagreement. Judge Mailloux handled the case with great professionalism, appropriate judicial temperament and with compassion for all of the family members and their respective arguments.
Since that time, I have been involved with several cases where Randy has represented people with interests adverse to [those of] my clients. In each of those cases, I have found Randy to be an extremely capable and professional attorney.
In addition, throughout the years, I have consulted with Randy for advice about cases I have been working on. He is a wealth of information on all matters relating to probate issues and his advice, like his approach to legal matters, combines his vast knowledge with practical applicability. In the interest of full disclosure, Randy is a great source of information regarding hunting and fishing, also.
Randy lives in Waldo County, knows the people of Waldo County, and cares about the people of Waldo County. I believe he is the best candidate for judge of probate and I believe he can bring a much higher level of expertise, experience and knowledge to that position. I encourage you to vote for Randy Mailloux for Waldo County judge of probate.
Donald F. Brown
I am supporting attorney Randy Mailloux for judge of probate. Despite being an attorney, Randy is a straight-ahead guy with integrity.
He did a great job when he was the judge of probate a few years ago. Even to the point of where Randy, on his own, built the current courtroom, much to the credit of the county and the Probate Court as we know it today. Randy was always available, even when i often called him in the middle of the night regarding legal issues.
Unlike his opponent, Randy isn't a great politician. Someone who only seems to be heard whenever it's election time. Instead, Randy has quietly promoted probate issues all year-round, even after his term as probate judge was terminated a few years ago. He was an outstanding judge back then, and without a doubt he will be again.
Please joint me in voting for him on Nov. 6.
John Ford Sr.
Mailloux a constructive presence for Probate Court
At this time I would like to add my voice to the ever-growing number of people who support Randy Mailloux for the office of judge of probate. I have known Randy for many years, and in fact served on the Board of County Commissioners in Waldo county when Randy first assumed the office. When he first assumed the office, the registry of probate and the Probate Court were housed in the basement of the Superior Courthouse building. The court handles many matters that should be transacted in private, but in that location there was no hope of privacy.
The Board of Commissioners and Judge Mailloux found a much larger, but unfinished space in the District Courthouse. The county budget at that time could not afford a full-fledged renovation to that space, however. With the funds that we could raise, Judge Mailloux not only supervised what construction we did have done, but he took the further step of building much of the courtroom himself.
What he did to modernize the court physically he also did in the legal sense. The dedication and hard work Randy put into the Probate Court was above and beyond anything that should be expected from an elected official, but he also maintained a private law practice as well. It is because of not only what I observed during his tenure as judge of probate, but my personal knowledge as to the genuine stellar character, that I will be voting for Randy Mailloux for judge of probate for Waldo County in November.
Former chairman of Waldo County Commissioners
I am writing in support of Mr. Jethro Pease as the representative for House District 44. I have known Jethro for many years, and I believe him to be honest, hard-working and trustworthy. He is someone whom I can trust to exercise his independent judgment on issues that come before the Legislature.
Jethro will do what he believes is best for his community and the state. We need more people like him at the State House.
I am happy to be supporting Jethro Pease as our representative from District 44, which includes Hope and Appleton in Knox County and Searsmont, Morrill, Islesboro and Lincolnville in Waldo County. Jethro has a strong history of volunteerism and leadership and he will ge things done. As our representative, he will encourage small business, work for tax reform in Maine, support a balanced budget and encourage state programs to serve the truly needy. Jethro will be a dynamic addition to our state government and will uphold the concerns and values of the people of Maine. I urge you to cast your vote for Jethro Pease.
Janet M. Plausse
Democrat for Pease
In the upcoming election I will be splitting my Democratic preferences and voting for Jethro Pease, Republican of Morrill, for the House of Representatives. In my career as the director of the community action agency in Waldo County, I have watched and participated in many community issues in which Jethro played a part.
He has a tremendous dedication to the fire department in Morrill, the town we both live in, and has committed thousands of volunteer hours to assure the citizens are well protected.
He worked tirelessly to oversee the town budget process and always demonstrated reasonable and careful concern as to the town administration. Jethro speaks up as clearly when he feels that he is mistaken as he does when he is passionate about a cause. I feel strongly that we need more ethical behavior and people who speak authentically and take personal responsibility in our state government.
I trust Jethro to represent the people honestly, with diligence and great care. I know that he is concerned to see that those in need receive what they need to live a life of dignity and at the same time he tempers his willingness to provide help with common sense and a practical view toward efficiency and careful stewardship.
He has conducted a campaign that includes a great deal of door-to-door and careful listening to the individuals that he will serve. I am confident that he will serve us honestly and to the best of his ability.
Jethro Pease brings heart, intelligence, experience and a great capacity for work to government and I, for one, am most grateful that he is willing to take on this challenge.
Joyce C. Scott
Voting for Chase
One of the most valuable assets we have here in Maine is our natural environment. On Nov. 6 I will vote for Lloyd Chase as a representative to the Maine House of Representatives because he understands and appreciates the value of the Maine environment to our unique way of life. Our natural resources, together with the resourcefulness of our workers, can contribute greatly to our economic recovery. We need to kick-start the economy in a way that preserves our three major industries: fishing, farming and forestry.
Lloyd Chase of Liberty wishes to grow our economy while protecting our environment, and he knows these are not mutually exclusive goals. He understands how to work towards solutions with people who have diverse opinions, backgrounds and beliefs. As a Maine native and veteran, Lloyd understands the value of Maine’s unique environment and the value of green jobs to our state.
Lloyd Chase is running as a Clean Elections candidate. He is committed to working for the greater good and believes in the power of individuals to effect positive change in their communities and their country. Please join me in voting for Lloyd Chase on Nov. 6.
Searsport tank is a regional issue
With all due respect to Mike Hurley -- a most admirable man -- I forcefully do not feel that this is an issue for one town (Searsport). This will affect folks from Bucksport to Rockland. As a resident of Stockton Springs, as the crow flies, I and my community would be more impacted than most of Searsport. A disaster, terrorist- or otherwise activated, would wipe out most of the area that I have called home for nearly 20 years. The 12 jobs that have been promised (whoopee!) will likely wipe out hundreds of jobs in the area in the tourist and entertainment businesses. The damage to the infrastructure (roads and such) will be overwhelming, and I have seen no plan to deal with that.
It has been said that more than 100 tankers per day will be using our roads to transport the LPG to places far from here (not, incidentally, for our use at all -- we don't need it). As for repair to the roads, inevitable accidents and unknown consequences, as far as I can see there is no way to pay for or cope with those. There is no plan in place to cope with a disaster, should one occur. We don't have the ability to deal with such things. We can barely take care of our fires, car accidents and other traumatic events in our community. We need to continue to explore carefully the impact of this proposed project on the entire area that it will affect.
This is not a matter of one town interfering in another town's business -- this is an area-wide, hugely important decision and should not be a decision left in the hands of a small group of people. Please review the history of these tanks. Please consider the impact this could have on our community. Please protect our beautiful, sleepy, happy, quiet Midcoast area and let us live in peace.
Questions the loyalties of Thibodeau and Harmon
The voters of Waldo County should be aware of the possible allegiance of two of their legislators who are up for re-election. As an independent voter in Waldo County, I recently discovered that Mike Thibodeau and Ryan Harmon are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is an organization that brings state and federal legislators, and even their families from around the country, all expenses paid, to four-star hotels and resorts for conferences and workshops. ALEC is funded by many corporations and billionaires, such as the Koch brothers.
Their conferences and workshops consist of educating the legislators regarding ALEC’s political agenda. ALEC provides the legislative members with templates (“cookie cutter bills”) of legislation to be used to create bills to introduce in their respective state legislatures. These templates address many aspects of current laws and proposed laws that ALEC favors. In general, some of the legislative areas being focused on are:
1. Privatization of schools – creation of for-profit schools to displace public schools. This benefits corporations such as K12 (NY Stock Exchange: LRN) and Connections Education LLC, owned by Apollo Management (NASDAQ: AINV). Privatized schools would take taxpayer funds to run these schools, with 25 to 30 percent going to the corporation’s profits. The strategy to justify creating these schools is already in motion. The consistent cutbacks in school funding are affecting students’ performance. This, in turn, is used to justify displacing public schools with private or charter schools.
2. Creating legislation to privatize government functions such as child welfare programs, prisons, water and waste treatment, all at a profit.
3. Legislation to reduce corporate liability (tort reform) for unsafe and environmentally hazardous products and processes which benefit such industries as pharmaceuticals, tobacco, energy and many more.
4. Divorce restrictions and elimination of “no-fault” divorce to create more profits for legal firms.
5. Opposition to minimum-wage and removal of employee collective bargaining rights.
6. Further deregulation of the banking, health, pharmaceutical and insurance industries (no rules).
7. Further deregulation of industries overseen by the FDA, EPA, etc. (no rules).
8. Elimination and restriction of women’s reproductive rights such as access to contraception. The results of this effort has generated legislation is states such as Virginia.
9. Disenfranchisement of voters through voter ID laws, which make it more difficult for the poor, elderly and people in rural areas to vote. Interestingly, voter fraud is virtually non-existent.
10. More tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.
11. Legislation to block health care reform.
12. At the federal level, privatization of Social Security and Medicare.
13. At the federal level, more jobs going overseas by supporting legislation for free trade agreements with Colombia, Taiwan and South Korea.
Due to recent rising interest in ALEC, consumer pressure has caused 44 corporations to leave ALEC, such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, General Motors, GE, etc. Efforts are also under way to remove the tax-exempt status of ALEC and classify it as a political lobby. For more comprehensive information, google ALEC. It is sad to see placards supporting these two legislators in front of the homes of people who would be harmed by the results of ALEC’s legislation.
When two Waldo County legislators are members of ALEC, I have to ask, ”Who do you actually represent?” -- the citizens of Waldo County or the corporate/billionaire funders of ALEC.
Herbig works hard for heritage industries
Last week, my aunt visited from Georgia to explore Midcoast Maine. She expected Camden and MDI would be her favorite destinations. I suggested she go to Belfast if she got the chance, and she was thoroughly delighted by her time there, saying it was by far the most interesting and vibrant place she'd been in a long time. Here were some of her observations: Our waterfront is thriving, thanks to Front Street Shipyard and many other restaurants and shops; hardly a storefront is empty on any of the downtown streets (and new businesses such as Coastal Farms & Food are starting up in existing buildings elsewhere in town); and the sidewalks are full of people, young and old.
No one person can take credit for Belfast's current prosperity during general economic hardship, but Erin Herbig has worked hard for the past two years to support what is vital to all of us in this area. Erin is one of the first people I have known to talk about and advocate tirelessly for our heritage industries. Her grandparents, the Pauls, who were longtime poultry farmers, taught her at an early age to see the value in protecting these essential local businesses. Front Street Shipyard and Coastal Farms & Foods have been a driving force behind the success of many small businesses in Belfast, benefiting our entire community. Erin Herbig is working to ensure that this trend continues. Please vote Erin Herbig for House District 43!
Voting for Curry
I have proudly voted in every election I was qualified to vote in for nearly 50 years. Even when living abroad I sent for absentee ballots, even for town elections. However, over the last 15 years or so I have been less and less convinced that my vote means anything in federal elections. I do, however, feel we still have some control over local and state elections and that we can vote for people we actually know. That is why I'm voting to support Glen "Chip" Curry for state senator this Nov. 6. I don't care at all that he is a Democrat, Republican or Whig. I do care that I know this person to live an intentional life which is based on family, children, education, compassion and fair play. Chip is a vibrant, honest, decent person, and that's who I want to see representing me in Waldo County.
Longley tries hard to be fair
For Waldo County Probate Court, Susan Longley has demonstrated that she deserves to be re-elected as our judge. She tries her best to be fair, as well as make decisions in accordance with the letter of the law. Those are the qualities we need in the judge who oversees cases in Probate Court.
Happy to support Pease
I am happy to be supporting Jethro Pease as our representative from District 44, which includes Hope and Appleton in Knox County and Searsmont, Morrill, Islesboro and Lincolnville in Waldo County. Jethro has a strong history of volunteerism and leadership and he will get things done. As our representative he will encourage small business, work for tax reform in Maine, support a balanced budget and encourage state programs to serve the truly needy. Jethro will be a dynamic addition to our state government and will uphold the concerns and values of the people of Maine. I urge you to cast your vote for Jethro Pease.
Janet M. Plausse
Prefers Ares to Gillway
James Gillway is up for re-election, and District 41 should not be happy with him. The voters of Searsport, Stockton Springs, Prospect, Frankfort, Verona Island and Orland should be looking for a fresh, new face: Meredith Ares.
In the last Legislature, Gillway voted pretty much in lockstep with Republican leadership, even voting for a measure that allowed health insurance companies to raise their premiums by any amount below 10 percent without approval from the state insurance commissioner.
Before this, insurance companies had to get approval for any rise in premiums. In turn, the insurance commissioner had to approve any rate increase necessary to cover costs and a fair profit. Our commissioner, Mila Koffman, is very tough; she cut one Anthem request from 9.2 percent down to 1.7 percent. Anthem sued for the higher rate, but lost.
In effect, Gillway and the Republicans voted to allow insurance companies to charge almost whatever they like. Meredith Ares, when she takes Gillway’s seat, will not be going to bat for the insurance companies.
Mailloux is best-prepared to be judge of probate
I recently viewed the judge of probate debate between Susan Longley and Randy Mailloux and I was impressed. The obvious winner was Randy Mailloux. He was prepared and spoke about the issues and helped viewers understand why this race is so hotly contested and important. Susan Longley clearly did not want to do that and seemed more focused on herself and her “programs.”
I was most surprised with the issue of the recording of court events. Randy Mailloux stated how everything should be recorded (like he did when he was the judge) and how that is not happening and Longley's only response was that only contested hearings need to be recorded. So, basically, she admitted that she's not recording all of her court proceedings and she's not going to start because she just doesn't have to. Unbelievable! Everything should be recorded to make sure everything is being done fairly! The fact that she orders mediations when they're not legal but seems to be strict with her interpretations of the law when it comes to recordings is very troubling. No one should ever wonder why a judge is refusing to record court events.
I want to thank the Bangor Daily News reporter for forcing her to respond, as it was obvious that she had no intention of doing that. It was also clear who is much more qualified to be returned as our judge of probate. That issue isn’t even close. I will choose to base my vote on qualifications and not who is nicer or who I know or all the other irrelevant issues that people normally base their vote on in other races. The judge of probate race must be different because so much is at stake and we all deserve to have the best-qualified judge on the bench, not the best politician.
I wanted to say thank you to the paper and to Belfast TV for putting this together. I urge everyone to watch it at https://vimeo.com/511895918 or on YouTube. It will also, apparently, be broadcast on local public TV. After I watched it, I have decided to cast my vote for Randolph Mailloux.